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What I’m Wearing This Week: Le Tote

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyJul 21, 2022 | 37 comments

Le Tote
3.6 overall rating
25 Ratings | 11 Reviews

Good morning, every bunny! I sent Mr. HGL to work as a fashion consultant at Neiman Marcus so he can support both of us, but the store manager isn't very hoppy with him because he keeps pooping all over the floor and his hair is getting stuck to the clothes. Ugh, don't you wish we could send our animals out to work for us? His organic lettuce is pricey and so are his haircuts. He is posing up a storm this week!

So, let's quickly talk about photo and video filters. A few weeks ago, I admitted to a smoother on my face for the up-close photos of the jewelry. The reason I did that in the past is because I have rosacea, sometimes it flares up pretty badly and I have really oily skin. And also, these video calls have messed me up a bit, but I guess I don't have to worry about that now. Anyway, I didn't use the smoother this week so you can see what my skin really looks like, but I am still wearing makeup and I don't plan on removing that!

I haven't been going out much at all to try and save money.

WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK: Le Tote

Welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week. For the newbies, every Friday on WIWTW I'll recap the clothing rentals I wore for the week. I’ll take you on a trip through my life, where I’m going, what’s missing in my closet, my current obsessions, what I’m excited to try, and maybe even buy. We’ll explore designers and trends, and a variety of styles and brands. And each week I’ll fill you in on why I chose each item, the total value of the rental compared to the retail price (as of today I've rented $2,759 worth of clothing on Le Tote), and more. For sizing reference, I am 5'11" with a 33" inseam and I weigh 140 pounds. 

Le Tote is a fashion subscription service that lets you try a new set of on-trend separates, dresses, jewelry, and more on a monthly basis. You can keep the pieces as long as you’d like or return them to receive a new set of items, depending on your membership. There are membership plans that include one tote per month to unlimited totes per month. Le Tote features brands you know and love like Tahari, French Connection, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rachel Roy, and there's also a maternity option. You can rent up to 10 clothing items and 5 accessories per month and the sizing options range from XS to XXL, or 0 to 16, but currently, there's no tall, petite, or plus-sized option.

Just like other fashion subscriptions, when I signed up, I went through an extensive style quiz to gather information about my preferences and complete my style profile. You'll add information like your measurements, current sizing in different types of clothing, looks you love, and more.

Le Tote offers free shipping both ways. Items you order will be sent using 2–3-day priority shipping, and ground shipping is included when returning items to the warehouse. Le Tote ships to valid residences, hotels, P.O. Boxes, and commercial establishments in the contiguous 48 States in the USA; however, they do not ship to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, APO/FPO, or Alaska.

This is a review of the Unlimited Plan with 5 clothing items and 3 accessories for $79/month.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

WHAT I RECEIVED 

 

This time my Le Tote products arrived neatly arranged in a plastic garment bag. All of the items by Adyson Parker, Summer & Sage, Alexia Admor, New York & Co., Anne Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and QUIZ arrived in a timely manner and in great condition.

THE GOODS 

Adyson Parker Tiered Ruffled Eyelet Dress, Retail Value $120, Le Tote $90, Summer & Sage Beaded Tassel Earrings, Retail Value $28, Le Tote $22

 

How I styled it: This dress is perfect for vacation, like when you crawl off the beach, shower, and realize you're now sunburned and need to cover up a little bit. I paired it with Ulla Johnson's Strappy Sandals, a Balenciaga Graffiti Bag, and matching tassel earrings from Le Tote.

Size and fit: This small cotton dress is designed for someone who's shorter and tinier than me. The waist is too high, the bodice is lopsided and the elasticized sleeves are too short. It features side slit pockets, a ruffle-trimmed neckline with tie, puff sleeves and it's fully lined. I ordered the tassel earrings because they matched the dress and they're fun.

Mr. HGL says: While it's cute in a boho manner, the design does absolutely nothing for your body shape. Baby doll dresses are better for someone shorter who has a chest. The empire waist cuts off too high.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: I have worn this around my apartment quite a bit and downstairs to the pool, but I have to agree with Mr. HGL that the design is not quite right for a giant who's shaped like a ruler. As for the earrings? They're cheap and feel like they'll fall apart any minute. 

Alexia Admor Draped One-Shoulder Dress, Retail Value $100, Le Tote $75, Summer & Sage Ruched Shoulder Bag, Retail Value $48, Le Tote $24

 

How I styled it: I wore the Alexia Admor dress with the Ulla Johnson Sandals, gold-tone hoop earrings, a chain-link necklace and vintage studded leather belt from Etsy, the Hermes Clic-Clac bracelet and the Summer & Sage Ruched Shoulder Bag from Le Tote.

Size and fit: I got the small and it was a bit snug. I kept trying to shift the dress on the shoulders to get it to fit better, but it didn't want to move very much. This is a slim-fitting crepe sheath dress with an elasticized neckline, side zip closure, back vent, and it's fully lined with a fabric that really sucks you in!

Mr. HGL says: I think your shoulders are too broad for this dress.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: Everyone needs an LBD in their closet. This little black dress is a timeless wardrobe staple that takes you from day to night and can easily be dressed up, accessorized, and layered to create your perfect look. I already have many LBDs so this is one of the last things I need in my closet, but you should consider it instead! The handbag was inspired by Bottega Veneta's Pouch, but it's made of plastic and features a gathered shoulder strap and magnetic snap closure. The material on both items felt cheap though.

New York & Co. Asymmetrical Drape-Front Shorts, Retail Value $59, Le Tote $38

 

How I styled it: I forced myself to try on a pair of shorts and I wasn't disappointed! I love cobalt blue and I really liked the draped fabric on the front. I wore this with Salvatore Ferragamo Wedges, the Clic-Clac, a Splendid by Ella Moss off-the-shoulder top, and my Etsy jewelry.

Size and fit: I ordered the 6 and it's a tad big in the waist. These high-waisted statement shorts feature a wide waistband, folded hem, exposed back zipper, and an asymmetrical draped detail on the front.

Mr. HGL says: You do realize when you sit down, you're supposed to pet me, right? I see hands and they've not touching meeeeeeeeeeee.

Condition: Great.

Honest review: I had not worn shorts in public in probably 12 years. Weird? Yes, it is. I suffered from body dysmorphic when I was younger and was obsessed with exercise. I used to get up at 4:30am in NYC to hit the gym and on the rare occasion I slept through or skipped it, I'd punish myself and refuse to go anywhere after work. It wasn't until I tore my Lisfranc ligament in 2017 that I finally chilled out a bit with the exercise addiction and made peace with my body. Nowadays, when I ramp up on the sprints and lifting, something else tears or cracks, or I end up with tendonitis. Getting old is no fun! Anyway, I really like these shorts and was happy to discover that when you sit down, you can move the piece of fabric over your legs to cover up.

Karl Lagerfeld Profile Tee, Retail Value $40, Le Tote $30

 

How I styled it: I've got this deconstructed Current Elliott denim skirt that I love, but it's huge! I guess I should get it taken in. I also paired it with Cole Haan leather slides.

Size and fit: Le Tote suggested I get the medium and it's a perfect fit. This super soft, stretchy, and fitted crewneck tee is crafted in plush cotton and features a profile print of the man, the myth, the legend... Mr. Karl Lagerfeld!

Mr. HGL says: My profile pic should be featured on that tee.

Condition: Like new condition.

Honest review: One thing I don't need right now is another tee.

QUIZ Bardot Cropped Midi Dress, Retail Value $69, Le Tote Price $40, Anne Klein Stone Link Earrings, Retail Value, $20, Le Tote Price $10

 

How I styled it: Geez, not sure how I feel about this cutout trend. So, I initially added the studded leather belt, but it didn't work very well so I took it off, threw on the Ferragamo wedges and Le Tote's pair of Anne Klein Stone Link Clip-On Earrings.

Size and fit: Le Tote suggested an 8 and it's even tight. I don't know what's going on up top, but it is not working on me at all.

Mr. HGL says: Please do yourself a huge favor and buy a better bra. Ill-fitting garments can absolutely ruin a look.

Condition: Great condition. 

Honest review: I was baffled by the fit of this dress and then discovered it's a UK brand so now it makes sense! Normally in UK sizing, I am a US 8, UK 12 so now I understand why they suggested the 8. Anyway, I don't love this dress at all, and the cutout top makes it difficult to wear. I sent it back.

DID THEY DELIVER? 

  • What items were most helpful and versatile to own this week to ensure I got the most out of my rental and completed the look I craved? Surprise, surprise! I got the most wear out of the shorts.
  • Did they meet or exceed expectations? I've noticed they're adding more items, so that's good news, but I'd still like to see even more options.
  • What’s the return process like? While they ship it in a branded Le Tote box or bag, they include a return bag that's pre-labeled so all you need to do is put your items in the bag, seal it up, send it out, and recycle the box. Easy! 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Let's talk about something totally different. The news of Khloe's surrogacy with Tristan Thompson makes me think about The Kardashians as a whole and how they've all completely distorted their faces and bodies and created a new definition of beauty that's mostly unrealistic and expensive. All of the Ks have morphed into sexy kartoons in a sense, and the general public has willingly hopped on that bandwagon. I know women who've started filling up their lips and faces, wear huge fake lashes all the time (even to the gym), have gotten butt implants, and wear skin-tight clothing everywhere. Some say this is feminism, but what if some of these tweaks are designed for men?

I've been told by many men that I should get breast implants and I've shot back and said, "why, so I can distort my body to please a man?" If plastic surgery and fillers make someone feel better about themselves, that's all fine and good (do whatever makes you happy), but if it's for men, does that contradict feminism? And what are we teaching little girls who live on social media and swear by filters? They need to change what they look like to be accepted by society?

Maybe I'm just old and now sound like my parents, but I don't get it. Thoughts? Feelings? Especially if you have daughters, what do you think?

CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all these items are still available to rent. 

VALUE BREAKDOWN: The 5 clothing and 3 jewelry items plan costs $79/month and so far, I've received styles with a retail value of $2,759!

What are your thoughts about Le Tote and rentals in general? Let me know what you think about this week's looks!

Starting at $79.00
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Le Tote is a monthly styling and clothing rental service. Fill out your profile, subscribe, and 3 garments plus 2 accessories will delivered to your door. Additionally, subscribers have the option to purchase the items they try: the cost is $50 for dresses, $30 for separates, $20 for necklaces an... read more.

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky

If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar designer goods, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of city slicking in NYC and DC, I now have a car and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.


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37 comments

Mary L.

Re: your last points. I just want to say that it annoys me to no end that our society equates being sexualized with being strong.

It’s as if being a “strong woman” has to go hand in hand with revealing clothes and bedroom appeal. And it’s always spun as, well, obviously women are “claiming” their sexuality and dressing for themselves. But as a woman, I have doubts. Are the Kardashians, Lizzo and the rest dressing like that because they really want to or because that’s what they think is expected of them?

Personally, I am ready for the trend of strong women in moo moos who couldn’t care less what they look like or whether anyone wants to take them to bed.

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Mary Zubritsky

I don’t understand how acting and dressing like that is empowering. Instead of teaching girls they should work hard and be kind, respectable human beings, we’re telling them it’s all about how they look and they’re only worthy if a man finds them irresistible enough to take to bed.

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Kelly

Thank you for your feminist comments! I am also concerned (as a school nurse) about young girls who are trying to imitate the Kardashians and others they see on TV. You make some very astute points. It’s refreshing to see that posted here.
I enjoyed these styles, except – yes – that one top is a little ill fitting. And I don’t think that a baby doll dress looks good on anyone but 12-year-olds, frankly. But I’m obsessed with the asymmetrical shorts and black top! And I would wear that Karl L. tee.

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Mary Zubritsky

My cousins (who are great parents) have very impressionable young girls and they are influenced by everything they see on social media. We’re sending the wrong messages.

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Dia

This column is my weekly treat. After a long week, I get to look at pretty clothes on an amazingly beautiful model who is also a funny and eloquent writer. Keep up the good work!

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Mary Zubritsky

Thank you so much! We all need a distraction these days and I’m glad my clothing rental addiction can help. 🙂

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Beth Kase

Funny you bring up the Khardasian family. I became a quad amputee 7 years ago. I’m very high functioning and am ok with myself. I do Crossfit and exercise every day even riding a recumbent bike in adaptive races. I keep waiting for designers to design clothes that work with prosthetics rather than only look good. C. Siriano designed some clothes for the runway rather than life but they looked good?? You can’t drag a dress train in front of a wheelchair! No plastic anything on me except silicone prosthetics to function. My family has often commented “Gee, I wonder how that Khardiasisian family would handle something tragic?” Hollywood has an altered sense of true reality and true tragedy. You can’t attach new limbs.
I love continually reading your clothing reviews. Thank you!

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Mary Zubritsky

Whoa, Beth. You’re amazing! Thank you.

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Dia

Wow. I doubt I would have made it if I had to lose two limbs, much less four. You are incredibly strong.

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Mary Zubritsky

Agreed.

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RAR

It doesn’t seem like this subscription offers Tall sizes. Do they offer Petite? I was “blessed” with shorter legs and a long waist so I look for tall sizes on top. This sort of short-sidedness in the fashion world doesn’t make it easy to put together cohesive outfits.

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Kelly

You ARE blessed – no need to put “blessed” in quotes LOL. I agree, the industry ignores smaller and shorter women, even though there are way more women under 5’4″ than in the 5’8″ range and up. Let alone do they account for people with different body types or amputations, who use wheelchairs or who need clothes that work with adaptive equipment.

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Mary Zubritsky

I feel like designers go one way or the other. Either they design for taller women or shorter. I haven’t noticed petite sizes with Le Tote or for taller either. These brands are more mainstream so I would expect them to cater more to the everyday person.

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Kelly

I consider people under 5’5″ to be “everyday” people though. Hahaha. As well as those who are tall. I don’t know why women’s clothes can’t come in exact sleeve and pant leg lengths, like men’s clothing. It should be required; otherwise it’s discrimination.

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Jeanny

I love your clothes, personality, & Mr.HGL🐰🐰🐇🐇sooooo much!!! I actually like looking at your own clothes & accessories more than the ones you rent!! I would love to know your make-up routine & the brands you use. Also, is your hair cut asymmetrically in the back?! It looks fantastic, & I still love the red/auburn tint to your hair! I’m a natural redhead myself so I might be a little biased. LoL!!👩‍🦰❤👩‍🦰❤

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Mary Zubritsky

Thank, Jeanny! It’s supposed to be a blunt cut straight across, but it looks like I now have rat-rails. Time for a trim!

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Caligirl

I love your reviews. Your open and honest about your struggles. I fee like your writing to a friend. Even the “ugly” things look good on you!❤

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Mary Zubritsky

Thanks, CaliGirl! Nobody’s life is perfect (despite what it may look like on social media), and I know there are so many people who have been silently struggling the past 2.5 years. I think it’s important to remind people that they’re not alone and others have had a difficult time too.

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Honey Please

Mary, you’re a lovely person and a fine writer—but the constant self-body shaming is concerning. You use your pet’s voice as “funny” critiques of your body and I’m sure you’ll say oh it’s just levity—but it’s not. It’s obvious that it’s not. It’s making it hard to take your role as a reviewer seriously when most of the review is of your own perfectly normal body!

If this much focus on reviewing clothing and photographing yourself is triggering dysmorphia, I encourage you to take a break and spend some time with a body positive therapist.

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Leah

I think it’s normal to make occasional self-deprecatory comments without suffering from full on body dysmorphia. My sister has struggled with anorexia & bulimia for 25 years. She plucked her eyebrows into nonexistence & now has to pencil them on. She has scars on her face from excessively picking at spots that were never there. She told me she has no idea what she looks like & when she’s forced to look in the mirror she sees a scrambled image resembling a Picasso painting. That is body dysmorphia; very tragic.

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Mary Zubritsky

That’s terrible. I’m sorry, Leah. Maybe what people don’t realize is those who go out and continue to physically alter their bodies and looks also suffer from it — and to a more expensive and extreme degree. But we’re supposed to celebrate all the tweaks and fills and changes.

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Dia

I understand what you are saying, but I don’t honestly think Mary has body shaming issues or body dysmorphia to a degree that requires her to take a break from writing and see a therapist. We all have parts of ourselves that we are unhappy with. Some of us cope by making jokes about it so to beat others to the punch. I myself joke about my weight and the size of my nose, but really, I’m okay with who I am and what I am. Mary has eyes enough to see that she is a very beautiful woman, easily in the top five percent of how most of us would define beauty.

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Beth Kase

Reference to body dysmorphia shouldn’t distract the review. It sure doesn’t for me. It shows me everyone has something. Your issue may not be in the forefront but we all have issues. Mentioning it helps so many people. My body dysmorphia comes from weight as an adult then weight loss then limb loss. Dealing with how we look and feel about ourselves it is a life long job. It takes sensitive loving women supporting each other not telling then to get another job. Sorry, that’s my life as well. I get support from my tribe. My friends who understand. I’d like to say those who continually read this review gets it. They understand.

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Mary Zubritsky

That’s a fair point and a good observation. I will take your comment seriously and look inward a bit. In fact, last night I said something to my boyfriend about how the uncertainty of the world, the economic downturn and work instability has caused me to focus on things I feel like I can control… my body.

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Jessica

I’m really enjoying this. And my Spankford (cat) is jealous of Mr. HGL’s growing fan club.
Btw, you look great in shorts. We live in them in the Southwest. But, it’s a MUCH more casual lifestyle – even in one of the largest cities in the US.

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Beth Kase

I live in shorts mostly because it makes prosthetics much easier. I wasn’t a fan of these shorts at all. The zipper up the back was odd to me as well as the flap thing. It was some type of accessory but I saw it as something I’d be distracted by.

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Mary Zubritsky

DC is pretty casual too, but I’m always overdressed. I feel like if Mr. HGL had a voice, he’d sound like Stewie from Family Guy and have his attitude too.

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Marie

OK…so they’re (I know, not you!) calling knee-length dresses “cropped midis” now? Good grief.

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Mary Zubritsky

Good catch! You should be an editor. Looks like a copywriter error on Le Tote’s site, or they just don’t know what they’re talking about. Either way, it’s odd.

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Kate

Frustrated and mad that “many” men have told you to get implants. You need to find some better men!! (It’s not your fault. It’s society’s fault.) OK, rant over. For now!

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Mary Zubritsky

And even offered to buy them for me! At that price, a Birkin would bring me much more joy. Seriously though, my man picker has been off for so long 🤪 yes, agreed about society

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Jessica Couleur

Agree with you Mary. I also had a man offer to pay for breast implants. At 50!

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Jimmie

The Quiz dress looks the best on you out of all the items, so sorry you’re wrong 🙂 And I have nothing against the Kardashians or anyone doing whatever they want to their face and bodies, if it makes them feel confident and happy, why not?

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Mary Zubritsky

I’m looking back on the clothing again and maybe that really is the best look of the bunch. This set wasn’t so great. My cousins have pre-teen daughters, and what they say and what they know at such a young age is astounding — and they love the Kardashians and filters. I just hope young girls aren’t being taught they’re not pretty enough because they don’t look like that in real life.

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Lisa

I really enjoy reading your reviews but I’m not interested in the clothing. I’m a huge fan of Mr. HGL! I love his comments and he’s adorable!!!

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Mary Zubritsky

Some of the clothing is great, and sometimes it’s terrible — really is hit or miss! He judges me all the time… I wish I could tap into his mind.

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